Simple and effective
“Sales Differentiation is full of ideas that will immediately help you win more business. For example, Lee’s Sales Crime Theory – do your investigating before you make the sales call – is so simple and effective yet a large majority of sales executives think that doing one’s homework is finding a phone number or at best, visiting a prospect’s website. Lee gives you easy-to-implement ideas that will ensure you are relevant, that give you permission to ask challenging questions, that give you an edge in negotiations, and that separate you from just about every salesperson in every sales call, every time.”
— Sam Richter, World’s Leading Expert on Sales Intelligence and CEO SBR Worldwide / Know More
World sales success
“Here’s the path to no longer hear the price objection ever again, as well as rendering your competitors as irrelevant. Lee Salz, in Sales Differentiation, shares his decades of real world sales success so all can now reap the rewards. Don’t read this book – DEVOUR it!”
— Jack Daly, CEO / Entrepreneur / Coach and Best Selling Business Author
“Lee Salz says it’s not just what you sell, but how you sell it. His 19 sales differentiation strategies are a surefire way to drive profitable sales.”
— Harvey Mackay, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller 'Swim with The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive'
“When I was creating the Rainforest Café, I sought to create a differentiated diner experience. In Sales Differentiation, Lee Salz provides you with the strategies to create a differentiated experience for your clientele. I highly recommend it for anyone in sales.”
— Steven Schussler, creator and founder of Rainforest Cafe, T-REX, Yak & Yeti and The Boathouse all featured at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL
Entertaining writing style
“In today’s sales environment where buyers are subjected to more sales ‘noise’ than ever, Sales Differentiation is a must-read (and must-implement) for any salesperson who wants to stand out and excel. With Lee’s engaging, entertaining writing style, peppered with numerous stories and examples, you’ll find yourself reading the book quickly. But, you’ll want to go through it again several times to absorb, highlight, and write down the many valuable how-to’s to use on your own calls.”
— Art Sobczak, Author of “Smart Calling”
Implementing the concepts
“I. Love. Everything. About. This. Book. Lee Salz not only powerfully describes why DIFFERENTIATION is so critical, but he shows you exactly how to differentiate yourself, your sales approach, and your messaging. Implementing the concepts in Sales Differentiation will get you more meetings with the right buyers, elevate how they view you and your solution, and help you close more business.”
— Mike Weinberg - author of the "New Sales. Simplified." and "Sales Management. Simplified."
Detailing multiple strategies
“Finally, a definitive approach on what it means to differentiate yourself and what you sell. Lee Salz has done a masterful job of detailing multiple strategies you can use now to genuinely set yourself apart in the eyes of your customers. The value in the book is in his examples, which allow you to understand what you need to do to create a sales differential your customers will notice and, more importantly, pay for! This isn’t a book to simply read. It’s a book to read and apply. You won’t regret it!”
— Mark Hunter, CSP, “The Sales Hunter,” author of “High-Profit Prospecting”
“I find many salespeople forget that they have an opportunity to stand-out from the competition in the way they sell so instead they fight to win sales on price. Lee’s book will help ensure that doesn’t happen to you.”
— Brandon Steiner, CEO and founder of Steiner Sports Marketing
“As I’ve traveled around the world over the past several years working with companies and their salespeople, I’ve been amazed to find that they do not know, and cannot articulate, their competitive advantage! How can a company or salesperson expect prospects and customers to give their time and attention if they do not understand,clearly and concisely, what that company can do for them that no one else can do? So, how can you demonstrate your competitive advantage? Buy Sales Differentiation by Lee Salz, read it page by page, implement its 19 strategies and you will then be able to set yourself apart from your competition and clearly show your customers what your company can do for them that no one else can do.”
— Dr. Tony Alessandra, author of "Collaborative Selling: How to Gain the Competitive Advantage in Sales"
Comprehensive and compelling
“Everyone agrees that sales differentiation is a good thing, but no one has ever explained exactly what, why and how to truly become differentiated. Until now. Sales Differentiation is a comprehensive and compelling look at an often-overlooked strategy for sales success.”
— Deb Calvert, author, Stop Selling & Start Leading and DISCOVER Questions®
Compel your dream
“If you want to compel your dream clients to change, you have to be different in a way that makes a difference. Lee Salz has written a comprehensive guide to differentiating your offering in a crowded, me-too marketplace. More importantly, this book will help you do the critical work of differentiating yourself!”
— Anthony Iannarino, Author of "Eat Their Lunch: Winning Clients Away from Your Competitors"
“A treasure chest of practical, tactical, and doable ways to differentiate yourself from the competition! Read it… Use it!”
— Anthony Parinello, author of "Selling to VITO, The Very Important Top Officer"
“Lee Salz has written a different sales book about how YOU can be a different sales professional to help you sell more. It’s a common trap that a lot of salespeople fall into, all saying the same things, trying the same strategies and selling in the same way. The problem is that doesn’t often work and it’s usually those who do it differently that win. This book is brilliantly written and talks you through how you make WHAT you sell different and the WAY you sell different to win more deals. I’ve read a lot of sales books over the years, but none have given such a great process that I know I’ll be able to use straight away.”
— Daniel Disney, Founder of The Daily Sales and Leading Social Selling Trainer
Fantastic and strategic
“In a sea of businesses and salespeople competing in the same spaces for the same dollars, being different is the only way to get an edge on your competition. Lee Salz has penned a fantastic and strategic book that gives salespeople the formula to do just that. Simply put, this book is not only incredibly useful, it’s different.”
— Ken Kupchik, author of The Sales Survival Handbook and creator of Sales Humor
Refer my clients
“Lee Salz is the E. F. Hutton of customer acquisition. When Lee speaks, you should listen. In an over-crowded, over supplied world, Lee’s insights into differentiating yourself by how you sell ring fresh and true. I regularly refer my clients to Lee and wait for the accolades to come streaming in – which they always do. Lee Salz’s methods are practical and they work!”
— Bill Mills, CEO, Executive Group, Inc.
Opening doors to winning
“Sales Differentiation shows how salespeople are more important than ever in terms of adding value and differentiating their product or service from the competition. The concepts presented by Lee Salz will help you in every phase of the sales process – from opening doors to winning deals at the prices you want. Make sure you have a pen, paper, and highlighter in hand when you read this book.”
— Paul Nolan, Editor, Sales & Marketing Management magazine
Deals at the prices
“Lee Salz’s sales differentiation strategies are just what you need to stand out in a crowded market, create more meaningful conversations, and close more deals at the prices you want.”
— Jill Konrath, author of "More Sales Less Time" and "SNAP Selling"
“Salespeople know that differentiation is a best practice but have been left to their own devices to figure out how to do it… until now. Sales Differentiation presents strategies that salespeople can quickly put into practice.”
— Verne Harnish, founder Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0)
“Finally a book that addresses differentiation in a step by step manner that allows salespeople to apply what they learn, immediately. The practical easy to read format and examples to drive the point home are exceptional. Get this book in the hands of every salesperson you know.”
— Alice Heiman, Founder and CSO at Alice Heiman, LLC
“In Sales Differentiation, Lee delivers a fine addition to his line of outstanding sales reference tools. It’s straight forward, packed full of real world examples, and presented in a fresh unique way as only Lee can. He not only addresses many common sales myths and barriers but provides examples and detailed processes to help you differentiate your products and services in a way that will catch a buyer’s attention.”
— Larry Reeves, CEO, American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (“AA-ISP”)
Filled with dozens
“Filled with dozens of proven concepts as well as highly-relatable stories, this book shows that salespeople who differentiate themselves not only win more deals, but they also win at higher margins. It is a brilliant and practical how-to guide for salespeople at every level. If you want to escape the high penalty that comes from the buyer’s perception of sameness, this book is your key to success.”
— Gerhard Gschwandtner, CEO, Selling Power magazine
Actionable and easy
“In a sales world with so much noise, Lee’s book stands out just like his teachings. It’s actionable and easy to read, made for any level of sales professional.”
— Max Altschuler, Max Altschuler, CEO Sales Hacker & Author of "Hacking Sales"
“Sales Differentiation is filled with great examples that are perfect for both beginning salespeople looking to develop their skills and experienced salespeople seeking to take their sales results to the next level!”
— Dawn Deeter, Ph.D., director, Kansas State University National Strategic Selling Institute
It’s that time of year again when salespeople lift their heads up from their cubicles to see if there is a better opportunity out there. So, what do I mean by “that time of the year?” Actually, it’s most every day. The way most salespeople are wired, they have an insatiable urge for more. More money! More responsibility! More, more, more! Recruiters will often tell you that it is easy to get salespeople to consider a new opportunity regardless of their satisfaction level with their current job. As one recruiter shared with me, “The mere mention of the possibility of more money gets the engines going with salespeople.”
This is where many salespeople are to be held responsible for sales marriages gone wrong. They are too easily blinded by the hopes of more dollars in their wallets. They fail to look at all of the criteria that affect success. Don’t get me wrong. Money is important, very important. However, focusing on money as a primary decision point makes the dollars a mirage. I remember those old Indiana Jones movies where Indiana would be thirty feet away from the treasure. A few quick steps and the treasure would be his. Or would it? Lining the thirty feet of cavern were the dead bodies of those who attempted to merely grab the treasure. Indiana strategically approached the treasure to ensure he got it, and equally important, survived the venture.
The treasure for salespeople (also known as commissions) can be wrought with the same peril. If the employer presents a $250,000 opportunity, but the skills or activities required are not your strengths of, will you ever see those dollars? Highly unlikely. When I lived in the Washington D.C. Metro area during the dot-com craze, I saw many of my friends leave solid sales positions with Microsoft, Oracle, and Cisco for the chance at millions of dollars in stock options. For most, it was truly a mirage. Why?
Imagine, for a moment, you are calling on an IT manager representing Cisco. Just say the name, “Cisco,” and poof, you have an appointment. The same is true for Microsoft, Oracle and other big name technology brands. Changing gears, you are now selling for ABC IT Services. You place a call to the IT manager and it is not received with a welcoming reception, but rather skepticism and disinterest. The successful salesperson needs the skills to get in the door with this IT manager before any buyer facilitation can begin. If your background has been selling household brands and you haven’t had to do this before, how likely are you to be successful at doing it unless the company is willing to teach you that skill?
For salespeople to put together a healthy, successful sales marriage with an employer, they need to formulate a profile just like employers do when hiring salespeople. For salespeople, it is the profile of the ideal sales opportunity. To formulate the profile, a historical and futuristic perspective is needed. The convergence of the two yields the profile.
To begin the exercise for formulating your profile, answer the following questions for each sales position you have held. Be totally honest with yourself in performing this exercise.
1. Historical Strengths
a. What are the attributes of the products that you sold? (tangible, intangible, product, service, etc.)
b. What is the nature of the buying relationship? Is it a one-time, transaction sale or a repetitive, complex one?
c. Is the product a component of something broader (niche) or is it a comprehensive solution?
d. How recognizable is the product and company in the marketplace? Does the market know the brand?
e. In contrast to the competition, where is the product priced?
f. How are leads generated? (self-generated, company-generated (warm), mailing lists, etc.)
g. What is the average length of the buying process?
h. Is the product “off the shelf” or does it require you to creatively build a solution?
i. At what level is the purchasing decision made? Who are the other buying players that influence the purchasing decision?
j. What sales support is provided by your company? Are you expected to go from end to end or are you only expected to handle certain parts of the process?
Once you have completed this question series for each of your sales roles, the next step is to review your responses to those questions in search of commonalities in your background. This will allow you to complete the statement below which specifies your historical strengths.
I have extensive experience in selling a ____, _____, ____ (1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d) product that is _____ (1e) positioned in the marketplace. My role in the buying process included: _____, ____, ____ (1f, 1h, and 1j) which included working with ____(1i) -level executives in a buying cycle that averages ____ (1g).
Moving to the second part of formulating your ideal sales opportunity profile, you will identify the criteria for your next sales role. What is important to you in your next home? Answering the series of questions below sheds light on that direction.
2. Future Desires
a. Company Size. Quantify in terms of revenue, employees, growth, or other metric(s).
b. Market Position. (market leader, new provider, high value/price, etc.)
c. Breadth of Offering. (comprehensive solution or niche provider)
d. Buying Process Support. What sales support do you need to be successful (marketing, e. lead generation, subject matter experts, etc)
e. Sales Management Support. It is important to be truly honest here. Salespeople are quick to respond that they dislike micro-management. Be specific to the support you need to be successful.
f. Stability (what is your tolerance for change?)
g. Personal Development (what do you desire to learn from this company?
With part 2 complete, you are able to provide a laser-focus direction to your search. This is extremely important when communicating with recruiters or searching for jobs online. This allows you to say:
The type of role that is best for me is with a company that is ___ (2a), that is a ___(2b) offering a ___ (2c) solution. I operate best in environment that offers ___ in terms of buying process support and (2d) ___ (2e) for sales management support. An environment that is ___ (2f) and offers me the opportunity to learn ___(2g) is best for me.
Putting these two components together, rounds out your ideal sales opportunity profile. You now have clear direction on your historical strengths and future desires. What do you do with this information?
* Make sure your resume and cover letter communicate a consistent message regarding your historical strengths and future desires.
* Contact recruiters and share this with them.
* Use key words from the profile to search online job boards.
One final thought on the exercise of finding a new sales home. When you are interviewing with the company, keep in mind that you are also interviewing them to see if they meet your profile. It’s all about putting together a mutually-beneficial sales marriage founded on synergies between your needs and desires with those of the employer.